5 Tips for Pedicures for Runners
If you’re a serious runner you probably already pamper your feet (and if you don’t, you certainly should!). However, can that special attention include a trip to the nail salon for specifically tailored pedicures for runners?
Well, yes…and no. First, trimming your own toenails can be difficult, especially if you’re already stiff and sore, so getting some help for that simple task makes sense. It goes without saying that you should only entrust your feet to a licensed professional, but when you find a salon you like you can make a pedicure part of your regular routine. Pedicures for runners are different from a traditional pedicure in several important ways (to be on the safe side stay away from any kind of pedicure in the last two weeks before a big race). Explain to your pedicurist that you are a runner and take this list of dos and don’ts with you so you can walk out of the salon with feet that look good, feel good, and won’t let you down on your next training run.
- Focus on the nails (polish optional). When toenails get too long they can bang up against the front of your shoes, leading to possible bruising under the nails; ask your pedicurist to trim your nails as short as possible without getting too close to the nail bed. Also, ask them to look for hangnails and trim away any potential trouble spots. Do not allow them to remove ingrown toenails as most pedicure salons are not sterile environments, which lead to bacteria entering the broken skin and cause an infection.
- Enjoy the soak. The footbath that goes along with a pedicure will help to clean off the bacteria and fungus that can lead to athlete’s foot and other skin problems. In addition, most pedicurists will give your feet and calves a massage with an oil-rich scrub that feels great for tired muscles and also protects against cracking.
- But make sure your pedicurist leaves your calluses alone. Those thickened patches of skin are there as a protection against the friction that can lead to blisters; in addition, no matter how careful your pedicurist is, the sharp instruments used to pare away calluses can slip with potentially disastrous results–any nick or cut can open you up to an infection, encouraged by the warm, moist environment inside your running shoes. That said, a light sanding with a pumice stone to get rid of the outer layer of dead skin is OK.
- The same goes for cuticles—don’t trim them. The cuticles are there to hold the nail to the nail bed; cutting them away makes your nails more vulnerable, and increases your chance of infection.
- Don’t touch those blisters! Your pedicurist may want to clean up your feet by snipping away the skin around a blister but don’t let them, especially if you’re a diabetic. The open skin can allow bacteria to enter your system and cause infections. To be on the safe side hold off on a pedicure until the blister has completely closed up.
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